CAREER

Three Tips to Managing a Team During the Pandemic

Whether you’re working remotely or hybrid, read on to see how to navigate different work environments.
By Danielle Rubino

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic beginning in March 2020, I had never worked remotely. I was the person who went to spin class typically every morning at 6:30, rushed home to shower and get ready, picked up my favorite sugar-free vanilla oat latte and was at my desk for 8:15 sharp.

When we pivoted to being remote, I modified my routine to ensure my team and I would still be efficient and successful. As someone with a relatively small team (I manage two directly but work across departments and the entire organization), I discovered these tips and tricks to help with the transition, to strengthen workplace relationships (even through a computer screen), and to motivate, so I’m not just showing up for myself but showing up for my team.

Schedule Weekly 1-on-1s

Each week, we have a recurring meeting—⁠it’s during this time we talk about the week’s highs, lows, projects, big picture ideas, etc. Each of us goes in with an agenda and, more often than not, will touch on personal updates, thoughts and current events. I really value this time as it’s crucial to maintaining our relationships and keeps us updated on each other’s schedules and bandwidth. And, although we’re separated by computer screens, states and time zones, it feels as if we’re in the same room.

Keeping Them In The Know

A self-proclaimed Type A person, I receive various industry newsletters and start the day listening to NPR, The Daily, and other current events podcasts. Since sharing is caring, I often ping the entire marketing team as well as my direct reports with the news that’s making noise and is worth knowing. This is a way to not only educate others but also spark conversations and dialogue, often providing opportunities to connect with team members you don’t speak with daily.

To ensure my directs are growing (both personally and professionally), I will often have them take my place when it comes to presenting on a larger scale, invite them to tag along on workshops and industry events and advocate for them when the opportunity arises.

Check-ins Throughout the Day

Each morning when we log on, my direct reports and I say good morning, have a quick chat about how we’re feeling and then discuss what’s on the day’s agenda. Whether it’s checking in through Slack, email or a quick call, staying closely in sync with one another is key. Obviously, not all days go as according to plan, but having a to-do list from the start (separated by priority), is an efficient way to tackle your day and whatever new projects or challenges may arise.

To conclude, I’d like to leave you with some personal advice. As humans, we value our relationships and staying true to our authentic selves. When it comes to work, we are seeking a sense of belonging, community, purpose, meaning and a sense of identity. And it’s more enjoyable when you know, connect and value the people you work with. While it isn’t as easy in a remote world, it’s even more important to check-in on your friends, family and colleagues, as there’s a lot that can be going on behind the scenes (and by scenes I really mean screens).

Danielle Rubino
Director of Brand Marketing at

As Executive Director of Brand Marketing at Forbes, Danielle is a storyteller responsible for the enhancement of Forbes' brand position and resonance within the marketplace across all channels and regions. Prior to Forbes, Danielle worked for major publishing houses including Meredith Corporation and Condé Nast. Follow her on Twitter @DanielleMRubino or LinkedIn.

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